Agenda Power in the Japanese House of Representatives
Japanese Journal of Political Science, Vol. 1, pp. 1-21, 2000
34 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2007
In this paper we provide evidence from Japan that bears on a general theory of agenda power in legislatures. We look in particular at two questions: (1) How large is the government's agenda (i.e., how many bills does it seek to push through to enactment), as a function of opposition institutional power (control of upper house and lower house committee chairs)? (2) How controversial is the government's agenda i.e., how many bills do opposition parties opposeagain as a function of opposition institutional power? Our results, based on analyses of the period 1977-96, show that the controversialness of the government's agenda in Japan declines when the opposition controls more lower-house committee chairs. Controversialness also declinessubstantiallywhen the opposition holds a majority in the upper house. However, the size of the government's agenda, at least by our crude measure, is unaffected by changes in these two institutional features.
Keywords: Japan, House of Representatives, agenda control, legislative agenda, legislatures
JEL Classification: D72, N40
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